A Mindful Journey

Human weakness starts with the thought involving our incapacity in changing ourselves. The thought that ‘Nothing is in my hands. I cannot do it’ stops us from even trying.

But if we look into Gita, it states that everything is in our hands. Gita says: uddharet atmana atmanam na atmanam avasadayet.

Only and only we can change our future. If we are incapacitated and unable to make a future then we wouldn’t be allowed to choose our actions.

Bhagavad Gita in chapter 6, shl 26 says:

yato yato niscalati
             manas cancalam asthiram
       tatas tato niyamyaitad
          atmany eva vasam nayet

Suppression isn’t what we are referring. The more we suppress our thoughts, the more strength they gain. Keeping the thoughts to the present is what we have to do. As soon as you watch the thought building up, either to the past or to the future, slowly bring it to the present. Keep it there.

Instead of looking at ways to be mindful, we are breeding the weakness by giving in to our senses. We all know belief structures determine our behaviours. They are formed through repetitions and reinforcements. And, Behaviours become more automatic with repetitions.

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To break that we need to teach ourself to replace an old response with a new response. Let that new response be ‘Mindfulness’. The objective is to change behaviours. Though beliefs are hidden, they will eventually change. Repeatedly practising will turn that to a habit. A habit which will do us good.

So, next time, when the mind takes you on a mindless tour. No matter how nice it feels at times, do not embark that journey. Do not entertain it. Consciously withdraw from that. You may have to do that repeatedly many times till it starts to live in the Here and Now. Being Mindful will only allow us to plan for our future with what we have in the present. It will not allow us to be tangled in those fantasies that are far fetched and loom in the disappointments.

In my last blog entry, I was pointing in to what Bhagavat Gitas’ daivic qualities are. It will be easy to inculcate those with mindfulness. Clearing the clutter will make room for more meaningful ones. Because mindfulness is all about acceptance, appreciation and gratitude towards oneself and life in general.

Remember there is nobody to take responsibility for our actions. The same ONE who has acted has to live the consequences of his actions. Now actions can be through our thoughts, speech or deed ( mano-vak-kaya karma).

We have a choice to live a happy or a hopeless life. The choice is ours. If we succeed to break free from the shackles of our weaknesses, we will LIVE else will just Exist.

 

 

 

 

 

Shiva living the life of Shava

Morning walk not only rejuvenates my body and prepares it for the day but also a good time to contemplate on the fugacious nature of life. On the way back home today, I crossed a Shiva Temple with Morning prayers filling the air. An amalgamation of sounds: of Counch shell, temple bells and drums. Chanting do have the power to break us free from thoughts. We have to experience it to understand :))

Did you ever mull over the significance of prayers. Be it any religion, prayers are made indispensable. What do they signify? Do they have any importance in shaping our lives? Have heard a lot of people say that, they are trying to awaken or put God to sleep through prayers. Where is this God? Is the God within or without us?

What are we instructed to do? Are we to awaken the GOD within or the idol at the place of worship? Bhagavad Gita says the body is the Kshetram and kshetrajna, the Jiva is inside this Kshetram.  This is to remind us of the Shiva who is living the life of a Shava. These are to prepare us to face the Shakti, which is the Prakriti. We identify not to the Shiva but unfortunately to Shava that Shiva is in.

While the Mother, Shakti bombards us with sensuous things throughout the day. Only Shiva within this body can face her to retract her energy in developing the wisdom. Shakti without Shiva is nothing but cognitive dissonance. But we are living as Shava and aren’t sentinel to our thoughts. Thereby involving with the thought and becoming the thought itself.

Those who came before us understood this quite well. So, they devised these prayers and taught us to chant. The combination of sound waves of a particular frequency is said to enliven the Intellect. You may ask, when shall we stop. They ask us to continue:

  • Till we delve into the meaning of these prayers.
  • Till we start interacting with the world as Shiva.
  • Till we find a meaning to our lives.

I was reading an article named, ‘Abnormal is the new normal’. We tend to live an abnormal life because we do not have the knowledge of living a normal one. We have to question the necessity to move from the conditioned state that we are in?

Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharyas Bhaja Govindam takes us through the journey of a conditioned mind. Okay, why don’t we list a few drawbacks to our identification with the body/Mind?

  • Our bodies are never perfect. We might learn to live with our imperfections but there is a lot of evidence around that shows that we strive for perfection. Statista claims the revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry is estimated to go up to 62.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, is one such example.
  • Old age will draw us of the energy that we have but the mind will still crave for pleasures.
  • Fear of death, losing power, possessions and people around is something we dread each day.
  • Lack of control over the minds makes us vulnerable to uncertainties.
  • Our endless pursuit to seeking happiness from things which we have no control on.

The wisdom of former generation is incomparable. They are communicating to us through these rituals. Let us not pollute it and rob the spirit. They are trying to awaken our spiritual consciousness and reminding us to disown the body consciousness. Become the Shiva which Shivoham (Shiva Aham) is referring to. Whenever we wake up to the world of stimuli, our real identity should be established. And any such interactions will always be fruitful and selfless. We shall then be a True Altruist.

Desires makes Man Mystique and drives him to Mysticism

What is Man? Is he not a bundle of Desires.

If DESIRE maketh the man. Then, what is this desire?

If we look into Upanishads they say desire springs from our vasanas, our deep-seated mental impressions that are carried forward with rebirths.Psychoanalysis says with drive born of desire gives birth to arousal and actions.

Have you ever wondered why does this make the most evolved species on this planet mystique? It is because our desires, thought or actions are different, considering we being equipped with the same mental faculties.

We as humans are constantly learning from our surroundings, experiences and society. These propel our desires too other than our inbuilt mental impressions. They sometimes can end up riveting in diametrically opposite desires (coming in conflict with each other) which creates conflict. Not many understand their mental faculties which lead them into physiological and psychological problems

Can we fulfil all our desires? Not all desires are fulfilled for reasons like they being innate depravity of our nature or against societal norms. Such are either sublimated or repressed which can lead to tension, anxiety and even depression.

Though born of the same blood, each perceives a situation/thing in more than one way (in his or her own way). Not even identical twins think alike. As we perceive the world so we act which makes us different from other species. Perhaps the development of the Prefrontal Cortex explains this. Also, this makes the concept of right and wrong foreign.

Now old scriptures do have an answer to this mystery and science second the same. They ask us to be detached from our thoughts and that help us make an unbiased decision.

Now the word detachment frightens us and many have interpreted this word in zillion ways, making it a Yogins right. Battling the internal and external conflicts few decide not live a compromised life and continue on their journey to self-knowledge, choosing Mysticism.

I marvel at such strong desire to go beyond the intellect to understand the meaning of life. It might sound to many like a wild goose chase but simple small steps can take us to the less travelled side of life. It shall equip us with the strength to lead a more positive life.